Here are a few shots of actor Jack Lemmon from the LIFE archives. Lemmon played many sack-suited characters throughout the Ivy heyday. He’s pictured on the set of “The Apartment” in 1959 in a classic outfit formula you should try if you haven’t. You take a simple solid suit and tie (often a knit), and for subtle flair, a white shirt with a pinned club collar. Everything is nondescript save for a little conservative dash up at the neck.
Below, at a pre-Oscars party in 1960, with Dean Martin on the left:
And with Walter Matthau in 1966. — CC
Always loved those movies with him and Matthau, Grumpy old men
The Apartment is one of the greatest films ever made. Great Ivy-style outfits in the film, and a fantastic dress on the girl in the last scene. Such a beautiful time in history! Needless to say that Jack Lemmon is an outstanding actor. A true master!
Jack’s mother, Mildred, was a regular in the old days at the old Boston Ritz Carlton bar so Jack liked to stop in when he was in town and throw back a few. I chatted with him there a few times. Legend has it that she refused to leave a poker game there when her water broke so he was born in an elevator. Alas, that story is untrue as he was born in 1925, a couple of years before the Ritz opened. But he could throw ’em back with the best and dish out some great tales.
Jack Lemmon would have nailed the look from the inside having graduated from Andover and Harvard in the 40s. He probably informed countless Wardrobe departments of the finer points.